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This Week in Tokusatsu – November 30th, 2018

Greetings, loyal readers! Today marks the beginning of a new weekly series, This Week in Tokusatsu, here at Toku Toy Store! Each week, we will be spotlighting events from Tokusatsu shows and movies, summed up in a more broad way than our older episode reviews. Stay tuned here each week for news, previews, and reviews!

For this first edition, we have a lot of ground to cover with more to come. Lupinranger vs Patoranger has entered its final arc, and though the pacing is inconsistent, the show is going strong! Meanwhile, Kamen Rider Zi-O begins to pick up steam with the Gaim arc coming to a close, and new trailers have debuted for Ultraman and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Let’s dive in, shall we?


Lupinranger vs Patoranger Episode 41

Our heroes face off against the Gangler general Destra this week, and find themselves trapped in the Gangler world, which is something akin to Britain or France, draped in purple fog and eternal darkness. This is where we start to see the politics within the Gangler organization take shape in a meaningful way, as well as learning the true power that comes with a Status Double Gold designation, for someone like Destra. The episode treats us to some really well-done action pieces, even if the isekai plot thread is resolved a bit too quickly.

Once again, we’re starting to see Tsukasa put the pieces together that maybe the Jurer trio are more than they appear to be, but again the show holds off on the reveal. With just eight or nine episodes left before the end of this series, the reveal is coming up fast, and the final arc appears to be where the teams will have to truly come together. The preview for the next episode shows Tokyo in ruins, and Ganglers rampaging, as the heroes look on. The stakes are high and we won’t have to wait long for the payoff.


Kamen Rider Zi-O Episode 12

This week, Zi-O’s Gaim arc concludes, and we get to see a bit more of the spectacle that comes from having two Sougos, separated by a time interval of three days. It’s mostly played up for laughs in the beginning, but does end up becoming a crucial part of the endgame plot. Along the way, we get new character insights into most of the main cast, but the main bulk of the character growth comes in the form of Geiz’s willingness to trust Sougo with another Ridewatch, and the power of Gaim. It’s a powerful moment, driven by the lecture Geiz gets from returning actor Yutaka Kobayashi (Kamen Rider Baron/Kumon Kaito).

Next up, we will be treated to what appears to be a thoroughly packed arc, including appearances by Ghost, Decade, and Agito, with Decade appearing as a primary villain, if the trailer is meant to be taken at face value. A glimpse of Another Ghost reveals that the next Another Rider is more horror-themed, more demonic in appearance than his contemporary counterpart, and we also see that Sougo’s meeting with Takeru leads to him becoming a ghost as well. Does this mean one of the Sougos will die? Only time will tell.


Ultraman Anime Trailer

Earlier this week, Netflix debuted the first trailer for the long-awaited anime adaptation of the Kodansha manga Ultraman, which serves as a sequel to the original series. The art style has been a bit alarming for some, with much of the 2d/3d CG drawing parallels to the much-maligned Berserk continuation from 2016. The story follows a new Ultraman, the son of the original, and appears to be set in the modern era, rather than the 1960s setting of the original series. Another large detail is that this series will ignore all Ultraman continuity after Ultraman season one.

Look for Ultraman to debut in April 2019 on Netflix.


Godzilla: King of the Monsters International Trailer

The second international trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters debuted this week, and gave us our best look yet at the upcoming Kaiju. Rodan, Mothra, and even (through fog) King Ghidorah himself were on display in the new trailer, while the story of the human characters was expanded on a bit further. As hype for this film continues to build, Legendary Pictures’ Monsterverse comes together, with this third film slated to open the floodgates to Western Kaiju fans and casual viewers alike. Who knows what will come next? Maybe a cameo from MechaGodzilla? A crossover with Pacific Rim? Only time will tell, but expectations are high and excitement continues to mount as we approach the 31 May 2019 release of this film.


Looking for Jinga and Ultraman R/B? Check back soon as these shows become available and updated!

What was the highlight of your tokusatsu week? Join the discussion on social media!

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Ultraman R/B New PV Released

As we draw closer to the premiere of Ultraman R/B on July 7th, Tsuburaya Productions has released a new PV for the series, highlighting characters, transformations, and some of the mechanics of how the series’ gimmick items will work. In the feature, we get our first proper look at the brothers in action, both in human and Ultraman forms, and we finally see how the R/B Gyro will be used.

Screenshot_2018-06-07-08-23-31.png

The crystals used in the R/B Gyro, as it turns out, are discs, or chips. When activated by one brother or the other, the chip gains either one or two horns, depending on which activates the chip. Once inserted into the R/B Gyro device, the person transforming calls out the element of the chip, and uses a crank-like function in the R/B Gyro to push and pull three times, finally transforming.

This seems to be a constant, no matter which of the brothers is using which element, as we see them swap elements (fire and water) in the PV, which is just over three-and-a-half minutes in length. The fire crystal, when used by Ultraman Rosso, has two horns like a bull. When used by Ultraman Blu, it has one horn, like a unicorn. The same is true in both cases of the water crystal. The brothers swap colour pallettes after their form changes, as shown below.

Ultraman Rosso Aqua and Ultraman Blu Flame

Though we are never given a full view of him, we do catch a glimpse in this video of Ultraman Orb Dark, as well, using his own Gyro to generate black energy, for his element of Darkness. The video, linked below, highlights a Kaiju battle, and shows that like Ultraman Belial before him, Ultraman Orb Dark can directly manipulate and create new Kaiju. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out when Ultraman R/B premieres one month from today, July 7th, in Japan and shortly after, for the rest of the world.

Ultraman Orb Dark Kaiju Change.PNG

Are you excited for Ultraman R/B? Do you have any theories about what could happen? Leave your thoughts below and let’s discuss!

Source: Tsuburaya Productions via YouTube

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Kamen Ranger’s Ramblings: Clueless Godzilla Scientists

Do Scientists In Godzilla Know What They’re Talking About?

We all know this trope. Some unprecedented event is taking place – be it a natural disaster, alien invasion, monster attack or all three combined  – and there’s a scientist character on hand to explain to the rest of the cast how/why this has happened and you just know they’re making it all up.

In some cases, as with several Godzilla movies, they confirm they don’t know for sure, the most glaring example of this is in Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla in which Dr Chinatsu Gondo proposes two theories to explain SpaceGodzilla’s existence without having any way to verify either. The theories involve black holes and white holes, neither of which are anywhere close enough to earth to make this plausible, which has led me to this conclusion: Scientists in Godzilla have no idea what they’re talking about.

It makes sense if you think about it. Even years after giant monsters are an established presence in these films they still know very little about them. I’d wager that any scientist with the great misfortune to find themselves in a situation involving a giant monster just makes up their theories and recommendations as they go along to keep their job.

I’d love to make a monster movie comedy where we follow the scientist in charge of studying the monster and coming up with ways to combat it and through a series of misunderstandings and hi-jinks ends up accidentally defeating the monster but then has to live with being constantly brought in to deal with monster attacks that he has no more idea how to stop than the intern getting him coffee.

The only scientist that comes to mind in Godzilla that knew what he was doing was Dr Serizawa and even then he was only an expert in killing lots of things horribly, oh and oxygen. Even Professor Yamane doesn’t know what Godzilla’s deal is for sure, though his theory is at least a little more grounded than Gondo’s Space Godzilla theory.

In short I’ve rumbled the racket that scientists in Godzilla movies have had going for years, they’re all hacks and frauds who have no idea what they’re doing. But let’s face it. It’s not like any of us could do any better.

What would you make up to explain a monster’s existence? Would you even stick around long enough? Let us know in the comments.